'D.C. Madam' Fallout: Do As I Say...

Deborah Jeane Palfrey is in court battling charges of running a high-class prostitution ring from her California home. She maintained a 46-pound Rolodex that has already caused the resignation of one State Department potentate and reportedly contains the names of more elite Bush administration officials and Republican Party donors.

The first resignation was that of Randall Tobias, who last week fled a top State Department perch. While there he not only managed foreign assistance programs but also, according to the New York Times, "ran agencies that required foreign recipients of AIDS assistance to explicitly condemn prostitution, a policy that drew protests from some nations and relief organizations."

As "AIDS Czar," Tobias alienated many AIDS-plagued developing nations by requiring recipients of U.S. foreign aid to sign a pledge against prostitution. Nations complained that the pledge effectively prevented organizations from befriending sex workers so as to teach them HIV/AIDS prevention. Tobias also promoted faithfulness and abstinence over condom use to prevent AIDS transmission.

Now the joke's on Tobias, who has the gall to claim his patronage of call girls provided by the "D.C. Madam" involved "no sex" and that he paid a reported $300 per session for "the gals" (as he put it) to give him massages. Yeah, right--even in Washington, D.C., that seems like an awful lot of money for a massage. And President Bush is a uniter, not a divider.

By Bonnie Erbe